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Romanticists celebrated nature. They loved nature and enjoyed being outdoors. Their writings were nature inspired. I, like the romantics love nature and being outdoors. I also enjoy the beautiful scenes in nature that God creates. I have chosen two pieces to discuss. The first is Ode to the West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The second is The World is too much with us by William Wordsworth. In these two pieces I will discuss the beauties of nature that each writer is passionate about.
Ode to the West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley is a lyrical poem that addresses the west wind as a powerful force. Shelley uses the wind and nature as an inspiration for this ode. Shelley wants “to scatterâ€¦ my words among mankind. Just as leaves are scattered as the autumn wind blows. As we discussed in class, Shelley saw the west wind as a symbol of true inspiration. It is addressed in the first three stanzas the influence that the wind has on the sky, sea and land. Shelley wants people to realize that the wind can be a preserver and a destroyer, “Wild Spirit, which are moving everywhere; Destroyer and Preserver; hear, O hear!” This is not just a gentle breeze it is ferocious, blowing things around.
In the first stanza he is addressing the west wind as a human. The human is “pestilence- stricken multitudes”. It is talking about being infected with diseases. It is also referring to the dead leaves decomposing on the ground. I think that the multitudes that Shelley is talking about in this stanza, is society. He sees how society is just out to get material things. They do not care about nature and how they are damaging it. Shelley was concerned about nature and the effects that we have on it.
In the next stanza Shelley is talking about the effect the wind has on the clouds. “Loose clouds like Earth’s decaying leaves are shed.” It also talks about how the clouds erupt with rain. In this stanza, Shelley talks about the lighting against the night sky. It looks like a bright shaft of hair from the head of Maenad.
In stanza five the poet asks the wind to “scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!” He wanted his words to be spread around the world, as if they were ashes from a burning fire. Shelley also speaks in the last line of winter and spring. “The trumpet of prophecy! O Wind, If winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” Even though winter is here, you can still look forward to spring to come again. Just like in life, there may be dark and dismal times in your life but there is always tomorrow. Every day comes with a new start and everything that lives must die. That is a part of the life cycle. I think that the themes in this piece are connecting life and death.
The next piece that I want to look at is The World Is Too Much With Us. It is written by William Wordsworth. Like many other Romantic writers, Wordsworth saw nature as an emblem of God and the divine nature of him. His poetry celebrates the beauty and spiritual nature of the world. In The World Is Too Much With Us, Wordsworth contrasts nature with the world and their lust for materialism. They were just worried about the “getting and spending”. This sounds just like our world today. So many people are caught up in materialistic things that they do not stop and look around at the simple beauties of the world. They do not even stop long enough to hear the birds sing.
The World Is Too Much with Us is a sonnet by William Wordsworth. In this piece he is criticizing the world for the Industrial Revolution. They were absorbing themselves in materialism and distancing themselves from nature. We, as a society, have so many modern conveniences today that most of us do not rely on the earth for any of our needs. Most people do not use the earth as a natural resource. I feel that we should get back to using our earth as a resource and take better care of it. My family and I garden and love doing it. My son is in the second grade and they are teaching him about recycling. I feel that it is important that we recycle and help reduce the amount of trash that we produce.
The words”late and soon” describe how the past and future generations are included in his views of mankind. He views them as greedy. Wordsworth sees the potential of our “powers” but knows it is hindered by the mentality of “getting and spending”. The poet knows what they were capable of and what they could do, but that was affected by the lust of the flesh. We have the same problem in society today. People are worried about keeping up with the Jones’. They are worried about what they can get out of the world, not what they can give back. I think that the society today is much like the society that Mr. Wordsworth is speaking of.
“Little we see in Nature that is ours.” The earth and nature is very important to our existence. We must do everything that we can to take the best care of it. “We have given our heart away, a sordid boon!” This line refers to the materialistic progress of mankind. Just as Mr. Wordsworth dealt with materialism then we deal with it today. In lines ten and eleven Mr. Wordsworth speaks “I, standing on this pleasant lea, have glimpses that would make me less forlorn.” He reveals his perception of himself in society. He is a romantic with touch with nature. In Mr. Wordsworth’s sonnet This World Is Too Much With Us. We can relate with many of the things that Wordsworth speaks about.
I enjoyed studying the Romanticism Era. They really understood nature and the part that God plays in it. They realized that he created it and everything good in it. I think that we struggle with some of the same issues that these writers were struggling with. People are materialistic and do not slow down enough to enjoy the simple things in life.
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